When the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) determines that a claim merits litigation based on widespread discrimination, it is not required to name specific individuals as victims of discrimination to bring a lawsuit.
This was the ruling in a recent lawsuit filed by the EEOC entitled the EEOC v. Rosebud Restaurants, Inc. et al. The EEOC alleged that Rosebud Restaurants violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by refusing to hire African-Americans because of their race. The EEOC first attempted a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process; however, Rosebud Restaurants filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the EEOC failed to identify the victims of the alleged hiring discrimination. The U.S. District Court denied Rosebud Restaurant’s motion, stating that allegations of intentional discrimination were sufficient to state a claim for Title VII relief without identification of specific job applicants.
Bringing litigation against widespread discrimination is one of the priorities listed in the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) SEP is a plan developed to combat systemic discrimination in hiring based on race. SEP uses strategies that include investigation and litigation to accomplish the following:
- Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring
- Protecting immigrant, migrant and other vulnerable workers
- Addressing emerging and developing issues
- Enforcing equal pay laws
- Preserving access to the legal system
- Preventing workplace harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach
It is wise for small and mid-sized business owners to consult with an employment litigation attorney when devising company policies and practices. A lawyer can help you stay in compliance with state and federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations. Stephen Hans & Associates has represented clients for more than 20 years in issues involving employment disputes, including discrimination allegations.